Mount Kenya is the second highest peak in Africa (5,199 m), in the shadow of its taller neighbour Mt. Kilimanjaro, but offers a wealth of excellent and diverse climbing possibilities on rock, snow and ice. This is a technical climb at the top, so you will need to learn how to use your mountaineering skills; ice axe and crampons.
Apart from the superb climbing potential on Mount Kenya, you will experience its tarns and alpine meadows, exotic, equatorial, high-altitude vegetation, sunbirds, hyrax and soaring eagles which make the walk around the peaks one of the most beautiful expeditions in the East African mountains. You will stay in huts and have porters similar to those on Mt. Kilimanarjo, but the route is much more challenging even though it’s not quite as high as Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Challenging: Up steep hills and down exposed ledges, with bouldering and some extensive climbing.
Duration: 5 days
Length: 60 Km
Elevation: 4985 m
Day 1: GIANT BAMBOO CAMP – 2,600m.
AM. Transfer to Mountain Rock lodge (200kms /3.5hrs) Transfer to Gathiuru Forest approx. 15kms / 1hr. P.M Trek to Giant Bamboo camp 10kms / 4h). Ascent: +740m.
Drive from Nairobi northwards past farmlands to the base of Mount Kenya arriving at our lodge – Mountain Rock Lodge in time for lunch. Then briefing and equipment check drive to Gathiuru Forest Station (2000m). From here it is a long but thrilling walk through dense forest and towering bamboo to our own Giant Bamboo camp. In the forest there are many species of brightly colored birds such as the scarlet winged turacos and different species of monkeys. Elephant and buffalo are also common sightings.
Day 2: HIGHLAND CASTLE – 3,700m
Trek to Highland Castle, approx.10kms / 5-6h. Ascent: +1,100m. The bamboo give way to enormous podocarpus and pencil cedar forest and as we climb higher we pass through the Hygenia or Hypercium zone also know as the rosewood zone (generally found at 2850-3000m). We spend the night close to the sheer lava cliffs of the “Highland Castle”.
Day 3: SHIPTON’S CAMP – 4,236m
Trek to via Hausberg col (4,600m) to Shipton’s Camp (approx. 10kms / 5-6h). Ascent: +900m. Trek to the base of the high peaks then take summit circuit trail in the clockwise direction, with amazing views of the jagged volcanic peaks and glaciers. Our target is to get to Shipton’s Mountain Hut/Camp located in the Mackinder’s valley. From the camp we have a panoramic view of all the main peaks including Terere and Sendeyo two ancient parasitic vents of the main peaks. Climbing high (Hausberg Col) and sleeping low (Shipton’s) is excellent for acclimatisation.
Day 4: SUMMIT – 4,985m / OLDMOSES CAMP – 3,340m
Trek via Pt. Lenana to Oldmoses Camp. Approx. 20Kms/9hrs. Ascent: 749m to the summit / Descent: -1645m to Oldmoses Camp. Just before dawn we are woken up by our guides and hot tea is served before we begin the last leg of our trek to the summit. The trek begins beneath the stars as we zigzag our way up a large scree slope guided only by torch light to reach Pt. Lenana. It’s an exhilarating 3 hours from here to reach the hiker’s summit, Pt Lenana (4985m) in time for the sunrise!. A further 2 hours down to Shipton’s camp (4200m) for a hefty breakfast. Then down to OldMoses Camp 3340m. for overnight.
Day 5: MOUNTAIN ROCK LODGE / NAIROBI.
Hike to Sirimon gate (2,600m).approx 10kms / 2h. Descent : -740m Transfer to Nairobi via Mountain Rock lodge. (Span, 230kms / 4-5h). A short morning trek to Sirimon park gate (2600m) and connect with the vehicle for transfer back to Mountain Rock Lodge for a hot shower and lunch before the journey back to Nairobi.
Cost: Does not include airfare to Nairobi or visa. TBA at this point, total costs will be based on numbers.